Press Release


The Humpty Dumpty Institute


August 27th, 2008


HDI’s development program will provide income-generating opportunities for UXO survivors in Vietnam by training them to become mushroom farmers


Paul Ingram, the Kravis Professor of Business, and his class of senior executives will develop a detailed business and marketing plan as part of Columbia’s inaugural “Positive Impact Project”


New York, NYAugust 27, 2008 The Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI) announced a partnership with Columbia Business School’s Executive Education division in the School’s new “Positive Impact Project,” which will be undertaken each year by students in the Columbia Senior Executive Program (CSEP) to develop important international projects in the non-profit sector. This year’s CSEP class will focus their attention on HDI’s business and marketing plan for its Mushrooms with a Mission (MwM) initiative.


“Mushrooms with a Mission” is a Vietnam-based program that will provide added income to survivors of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Vietnam’s Quang Tri province, the most heavily bombed area in Vietnam.  Amputees and other victims of these deadly remnants of war will be trained to grow mushrooms and will collectively sell their entire stock to a mushroom processing facility.  In turn, that facility will market, package and sell the mushrooms to local and regional markets around Asia.  A portion of the proceeds will also fund ongoing UXO removal efforts.  Preliminary projections indicate that this program will double the annual income of farmers in the Quang Tri province of Vietnam, as well as generate nearly $200,000 a year for UXO removal efforts.


“It is a privilege to work with Columbia Business School on this project.  Our goal is to provide a new source of income to UXO victims who are unable to work because of physical injury and to create a permanent revenue stream to fund the removal of unexploded bombs from one of the most bomb-laden countries in the world.  This partnership will help us achieve these goals,” said Ralph Cwerman, President of the Humpty Dumpty Institute. 


“Tackling this project allows more than 50 international business executives from around the world to use their proven business skills in a hands-on fashion to develop various aspects of an international non-profit, an area that lies outside of most of their traditional comfort zones.  This collaboration will enhance our students’ global experience and knowledge base while allowing them to make a very positive contribution to an issue of global significance,” said Professor Paul Ingram, Kravis Professor of Business at Columbia Business School.  “Our students will hone their skills, return to their workplaces and run their organizations more effectively, and Mushrooms with a Mission will come away from this better equipped to meet its goals” he said.


In addition to “Mushrooms with a Mission”, HDI manages landmine and UXO clearance programs along with major agricultural development programs in Sri Lanka and Laos, funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  To learn more about the Humpty Dumpty Institute, visit online at  



About The Humpty Dumpty Institute

The Humpty Dumpty Institute forges innovative public-private partnerships to find creative solutions to difficult humanitarian problems through a series of unique programs. Currently, HDI's mandate is to foster dialogue between the United Nations and the United States Congress, to support mine-action programs around the world, and to help alleviate both domestic and international hunger.

About Columbia Business School Executive Education

Columbia Business School's renowned Executive Education creates a bridge between theory and practice by offering programs that deliver a rich, global perspective. Columbia’s nondegree open-enrollment programs address individual development needs in leadership and strategy, marketing, and finance, providing executives with an understanding of powerful new academic approaches and their application to achieve results. Columbia Business School partners with custom clients on designing and executing organizational initiatives that enable a critical number of top-level executives to meet their corporation’s strategic goals. Through Columbia’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management (INM), participants can enroll in programs that build organizational capacity and leadership in the not-for-profit and public sectors. For more information, www.gsb/


Contact:       Daniel A. Mencher ( at 212.944.7111

 Keshia Mark ( at 212.854.2747